CHICAGO: Target, the retailer, showed the power of using social media and online influencers to build anticipation for marketing efforts during major events with its activity at the Grammys 2015.

William White, Target Corp. vp/marketing, discussed this topic at the Brand Activation Association's (BAA) 2015 Brand Activation Annual Showcase (BAASH) in Chicago.

He referenced the "#MoreMusic" campaign run during the 2015 Grammys, where the firm organised a live, four-minute performance by rock band Imagine Dragons instead of broadcasting more typical ads.

In the run up to this groundbreaking innovation, "we wanted to build the idea of #MoreMusic, but we didn't want to just say, 'This is what we're going to do'," said White. (For more, including more details about the campaign, read Warc's exclusive report: How Target broke the rules at the 2015 Grammys.)

Achieving that goal required signing up five online music influencers, who began teasing about the initiative on the web prior to the Grammys.

Buzz regarding this effort thus started to spread from credible voices within the music community. "Each day, there was a little bit more," said White.

Two days before the Grammys, Target engaged directly in the evolving conversation - but again only to provide a teaser.

"We used all of Target's social channels, obviously," White said. And that included making its debut on mobile app Snapchat, a service that is especially popular with teens.

On the night of the Grammys, Target continued to "amplify" its messaging in subtle ways. "We didn't want it to be anything promoted; we wanted this to live organically," said White.

In obtaining that objective, a "war room" in Minneapolis monitored social media activity to facilitate real-time marketing, while the 350 fans attending the Imagine Dragons' show drove chatter, too.

"Our online influencers, who were very engaged in the conversation" fuelled further traffic, said White, helping Target generate a billion impressions for its Grammys campaign overall.

Data sourced from Warc